en "They May Have Information We Don't" – Are The Elite Preparing For A Cataclysmic Event? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p>As the world appears to be getting closer to the brink of widespread economic collapse and war, <strong>it seems we may all have something even more serious to consider: cataclysmic events.</strong></p> <p>Based on a flurry of reports, we know the Yellowstone Super Caldera has been quite active in recent weeks, with many warning that a <a href="" target="_blank">super volcanic eruption could happen at any moment</a>, threatening to potentially kill millions. Such an event would not be unprecedented according to scientists who subscribe to the <a href="" target="_blank">Toba catastrophe theory</a>, we suggests that a similar eruption may have been responsible for a near Extinction Level Event (ELE) &nbsp;75,000 years ago that bottle-necked the human population down to about 10,000 people worldwide.</p> <p>As well, we now <strong>regularly see warnings from scientists about the possibility of ELE events like <a href="" target="_blank">asteroid impacts</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">solar flares</a>.</strong></p> <p>While such theories and warnings were once relegated to the fringes of the internet, <strong>a new article in <a href="" target="_blank">Forbes Magazine</a> seems to be sounding the alarm that a major, cataclysmic event could be on the horizon.</strong></p> <p>They&rsquo;ve even included a handy map letting us know, for example, how rising sea levels (resulting from climate change or a <a href="" target="_blank">pole shift</a>) will <strong>wipe out populations on the East and West coasts:</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="333" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p>Joe Joseph of <strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Daily Sheeple</a></strong>&nbsp;suggests in his latest <strong><a href="" target="_blank">Youtube News Report</a>&nbsp;</strong>that elite billionaires around the world may well have information we don&rsquo;t, which would explain why they are <strong><a href="" target="_blank">feverishly building bunkers</a></strong> and stockpiling them with everything from <strong><a href="" target="_blank">emergency food</a></strong> supplies to <strong><a href="" target="_blank">protective chemical, biological and nuclear gear</a></strong>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>A lot of people might remember.. perhaps looking up Doomsday scenarios&hellip; <strong>there are a lot of billionaires buying bunkers</strong> trying to get ready for the Apocalypse&hellip; or whatever it is they are getting ready for&hellip; <strong>they may have information we don&rsquo;t.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t know&hellip; but one thing&rsquo;s for sure&hellip; they&rsquo;re buying property&hellip; buying up these old missile silos and converting them into bunkers&hellip; they&rsquo;re building their own bunkers&hellip; it&rsquo;s an &nbsp;amazing amount of preparation for things that you&nbsp;who prepare are openly vilified for&hellip;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&hellip;This is being highlighted in Forbes&hellip; things like this used to not even be discussed in a publication like Forbes Magazine&hellip; Now they are going full-on Doomsday&hellip; when Forbes Magazine starts publishing the Doomsday map then I have to think there&rsquo;s some validity to it.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="560" height="333" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Cataclysm Disaster Doomsday Environment Fiction Forbes Global catastrophic risk Kryptonians Time Sat, 22 Jul 2017 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600256 at Fed Believes Opioid Crisis Is Reason Why Men Aren't Working <p>Bill Polacek runs a manufacturing company in Western Pennsylvania. Even though a glut in new construction projects has dried up work for tradesmen, Polacek said he struggled to find qualified welders a few years back when he had a large number of jobs to fill. Polacek interviewed 350 people to fill openings for 50 welders and machinists at his Johnstown, Pennsylvania-based manufacturing company. <strong>But he quickly found the number of qualified candidates dwindling to the point where the number of open jobs was higher than the applicants qualified to fill them. The reason? Too many of Polacek&rsquo;s interviewees either had criminal histories, or couldn&rsquo;t pass a drug test.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;&#39;We weren&rsquo;t attracting the right people,&#39; Polacek says of the episode, which prompted him to invest in extensive outreach to local high schools to build up a pipeline of workers.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>America&rsquo;s worsening opioid crisis has helped create a generation of men whose struggles with addiction are preventing them from finding, and holding, steady jobs. Indeed, the type of hard-to-hire Americans Polacek encountered pose a growing problem for many employers, as a deepening opioid crisis plagues American communities just as the jobless rate hovers near a 16-year low.</strong> Polacek&rsquo;s situation is hardly unique; the Fed&rsquo;s Beige Book, a collection of anecdotes about the business climate collected by the 12 regional Fed banks, has included many testimonials about the difficulty that some employers, particularly manufacturing firms, are having in finding qualified workers, like this one from a manufacturing firm in St. Louis.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Manufacturing contacts in Louisville and Memphis reported difficulties finding experienced or qualified employees, with some citing candidates&rsquo; inability to pass drug tests,&rdquo; the St. Louis Fed reported in the July 12 Beige Book, a survey of regional economic conditions. Businesses have also raised the issue as a barrier to finding workers in conversations with Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker.</p> </blockquote> <p>According to <a href="">Bloomberg,</a> the Federal Reserve has stumbled on an explanation for the phenomenon that Polacek experienced when he tried to hire those welders - a question that has stumped central bankers, policy wonks and academics: <strong>Why are so many working-age men are dropping out of the labor force?</strong></p> <p><iframe allowscriptaccess="always" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Even though this trend started 40 years ago, the Fed says the opioid crisis is now contributing to the problem of shrinking prime-age labor-force participation. The seeds of the opioid crisis were planted in the 1990s as doctors liberally prescribed dangerous painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin. <strong>Today, 15%, or one in seven, men between 25 and 54 are inexplicably missing from the workforce, despite the unemployment rate purportedly declining to 4.4% in June.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 282px;" /></a></p> <p>The opioid crisis began in earnest around the beginning of Obama&rsquo;s first term in office, as deaths from drug overdoses started to climb. Now, after recording nearly 60,000 drug-related deaths last year, drugs are the biggest killer of prime-age Americans. America has more drug overdose deaths than any other developed country. <strong>Many of these deaths are caused by dangerous synthetic opioid analogues like fentanyl and carfentanil, the latter of which is 100% stronger than morphine.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 277px;" /></a></p> <p>And it&rsquo;s not just Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who was asked several questions about opioids during her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee last week, who&rsquo;s trying to connect the dots between opioids and the surfeit of unemployable, shiftless young men: <strong>At the Cleveland Fed&rsquo;s summit, talk about the crisis wasn&rsquo;t reserved for the opioid-specific panel: it came up throughout the other sessions, <a href="">according to Bloomberg.</a></strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s an economic issue. It has economic implications, but it&rsquo;s a whole lot more than that,&rdquo; Petrus said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s cross-cutting.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>Many other notable academics, including Nobel Laureate Angus Deaton, have published economic research about opioids.</p> <p><strong>The Boston Fed published research in September on the link between local economic despair and opioid use in New England</strong>. Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton suggested in their work on rising middle-age mortality among the white working class that the breakdown of traditional economic and social structures have probably contributed to a step up in overdose, alcoholism and suicide.</p> <p><strong>During her Senate testimony, Yellen explained that opioids were one cause of the drop in prime-age labor force participation, along with increasing automation and outsourcing by manufacturers. </strong>However, Yellen says she doesn&rsquo;t understand whether widespread opioid abuse is a symptom of the &ldquo;long running maladies&rdquo; these workers have faced, or the cause.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;There seems to be a clear indication or a clear connection between this and the ability to go to a job,&rdquo;</strong> said Senator Joe Donnelly, to which Yellen agreed.</p> </blockquote> <p>Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse asked Yellen whether mid-career job retraining opportunities might alleviate the problem, as technological innovation forces Americans in certain industries to acquire new skills or be replaced by a machine.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;The individuals who&rsquo;ve lost those jobs have found it difficult to acquire the skills necessary to re-enter the labor market and many individuals who don&rsquo;t have the education are struggling to find jobs,&rdquo;</strong> Yellen said, in response.</p> </blockquote> <p>But while mid-career job retraining sounds plausible &ndash; it is a concrete, if wonkish, policy, there&rsquo;s a broader problem with the labor force that narrowly applicable, resource-intensive &ldquo;solutions&rdquo; like these are missing. And that&rsquo;s the fact that, fundamentally, the number of well-paying jobs available for everyone except the supremely well-educated is shrinking rapidly. Meanwhile, the financial circumstances for the average millennial are much more precarious. Indeed, failure to launch a career during the early years can leave a negative impact for years to come.</p> <p>While it&rsquo;s nice to think about, the &ldquo;everybody should just learn to code&rdquo; policy won&rsquo;t fix any of these deeply entrenched problems in the US labor market &ndash; <em><strong>and it certainly won&rsquo;t convince anyone to stop using drugs.</strong></em><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1078" height="609" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Beige Book Boston Fed Carfentanil Chemistry Cleveland Fed Cleveland Fed Drug culture Drug overdose Euphoriants fed Federal Reserve Janet Yellen Janet Yellen Labor Morphinans Morphine Neurochemistry Neuroscience New England Nobel Laureate Opioid Oxycodone Philadelphia Fed Princeton University Senate Senate Banking Committee St Louis Fed St. Louis Fed Substance dependence Testimony Unemployment US Federal Reserve Western Pennsylvania Sat, 22 Jul 2017 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600196 at Is Sweden A Failed State? <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Judith Bergamn via The Gatestone Institute,</em></a></p> <ul> <li><strong>The Swedish state, in true Orwellian style, fights those Swedish citizens who point out the obvious problems that migrants are causing.</strong></li> <li>When police officer Peter Springare said in February that migrants were committing a disproportionate amount of crime in the suburbs, he was investigated for inciting &quot;racial hatred&quot;.</li> <li>Currently, <strong>a 70-year-old Swedish pensioner is being prosecuted for &quot;hate speech&quot;, for writing on Facebook that migrants &quot;set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the streets&quot;.</strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>The security situation in Sweden is now so critical that the national police chief, Dan Eliasson, has <a href="" target="_blank">asked</a> the public for help; </strong>the police are unable to solve the problems on their own. In June, the Swedish police released a new report, &quot;<a href=",%20kriminell%20struktur%20och%20utmaningar%20f%C3%B6r%20polisen.pdf" target="_blank">Utsatta områden 2017</a>&quot;, (&quot;Vulnerable Areas 2017&quot;, commonly known as &quot;no-go zones&quot; or lawless areas). It shows that the 55 no-go zones of a year ago are now 61.</p> <p>In September 2016, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Minister of Interior Anders Ygeman refused to see the warnings: in 2015, <a href="" target="_blank">only 14% of all crimes</a> in Sweden were solved, and in 2016, 80% of police officers were allegedly <a href="" target="_blank">considering</a> quitting the force. Both ministers refused to call it a crisis. <a href="" target="_blank">According</a> to Anders Ygeman:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>&quot;... we are in a very difficult position, but crisis is something completely different. ...we are in a very strained position and this is because we have done the biggest reorganization since the 1960s, while we have these very difficult external factors with the highest refugee reception since the Second World War. We have border controls for the first time in 20 years, and an increased terrorist threat&quot;.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>A year later the Swedish national police chief is <a href="" target="_blank">calling</a> the situation &quot;acute&quot;.</strong></span></p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="margin-bottom: 5px; max-width: 600px;"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="max-width: 600px; border: 1px solid black;"><img border="0" height="400" src="" width="600" /><br /> <p style="font-size: 82%; margin: 4px 6px;">In 2015, only 14% of all crimes in Sweden were solved. In 2016, 80% of police officers were allegedly considering quitting the force. Nonetheless, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (pictured above) refused to call it a crisis. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><u><strong>Sweden increasingly resembles a failed state: </strong></u><em><strong>In the 61 &quot;no-go zones&quot;, there are 200 criminal networks with an estimated <a href="" target="_blank">5,000 criminals</a> who are members. Twenty-three of those no-go zones are especially critical: children as young as 10 years old are <a href="" target="_blank">involved in serious crimes</a> there, including weapons and drugs, and are literally being trained to become hardened criminals.</strong></em></p> <p>The trouble, however, extends beyond organized crime. In June, Swedish police in the city of Trollhättan, during a riot in the Kronogården suburb, were <a href="" target="_blank">attacked</a> by approximately a hundred masked migrant youths, mainly Somalis. The rioting continued for two nights.</p> <p>Violent riots, however, are just part of Sweden&#39;s security problems. In 2010, according to the government, there were &quot;only&quot; <a href="" target="_blank">200 radical Islamists</a> in Sweden. In June, the head of the Swedish Security Service (<em>Säpo</em>), Anders Thornberg, <a href="" target="_blank">told the Swedish media</a> that the country is experiencing a &quot;historical&quot; challenge in having to deal with thousands of &quot;radical Islamists in Sweden&quot;. The jihadists and jihadist supporters are mainly <a href="" target="_blank">concentrated</a> in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Örebro, according to Säpo. &quot;This is the &#39;new normal&#39; ... It is an historic challenge that extremist circles are growing,&quot; Thornberg said.</p> <p><strong>The Swedish establishment has only itself to blame for it.</strong></p> <p>Thornberg said that Säpo now receives around 6,000 intelligence tips a month concerning terrorism and extremism, compared to an average of 2,000 a month in 2012.</p> <p>Some of the reasons for the increase, <a href="" target="_blank">according</a> to terror expert Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish Defense University, is due to segregation in Sweden&#39;s no-go zones:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&quot;... it has been easy for extremists to recruit undisturbed in those areas. ...the prevention measures have been pretty tame... if you compare Denmark and Sweden, Denmark is at university level and Sweden at kindergarten level&quot;.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Asked what the increase in people supporting extremist ideologies indicated about Sweden&#39;s work to combat radicalism, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman <a href="" target="_blank">told</a> the Swedish news outlet TT:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&quot;I think it says little. This is a development we have seen in a number of countries in Europe. On the other hand, it shows that it was right to take those measures we have. A permanent centre against violent extremism, that we have increased the budget to work against violent extremism, that we have increased the security police&#39;s budget for three years.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>There may be even more jihadists than Säpo thinks</strong>. In 2015, at the height of the migrant crisis, when Sweden received over 160,000 migrants, 14,000 of them who were told that they were going to be deported <a href="" target="_blank">disappeared</a> inside Sweden without a trace. As late as April 2017, Sweden was still <a href="" target="_blank">looking</a> for 10,000 of them. Sweden, however, has only 200 border police staff at its disposal to look for them. One &quot;disappeared migrant&quot; was <a href="" target="_blank">Rakhmat Akilov</a>, from Uzbekistan. He drove a truck into a department store in Stockholm, killing four people and wounding many others. He later said he did it for the Islamic State (ISIS).</p> <p>Meanwhile, Sweden continues to receive returning ISIS fighters from Syria, a courtesy that hardly improves the security situation. Sweden, so far, has <a href="" target="_blank">received</a> 150 returning ISIS fighters. There are still 112 who remain abroad -- considered the most hardcore of all -- and Sweden expects many of those to return as well. Astonishingly, the Swedish government has given several of the ISIS returnees <a href="" target="_blank">protected identities</a> to prevent local Swedes from finding out who they are. Two Swedish ISIS fighters who returned to Europe, <a href="" target="_blank">Osama Krayem and Mohamed Belkaid</a>, went on to help commit the terror attacks at Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station in the center of Brussels, on March 22, 2016. Thirty-one people were killed; 300 were wounded.</p> <p>Swedish news outlets have <a href="" target="_blank">reported</a> that the Swedish towns that receive the returnees do not even <em>know</em> they are returning ISIS fighters. One coordinator of the work against violent Islamist extremism in Stockholm, Christina Kiernan, <a href="" target="_blank">says</a> that &quot; the moment there is no control over those returning from ISIS-controlled areas in the Middle East&quot;.</p> <p>Kiernan <a href="" target="_blank">explains</a> that there are rules that prevent the passing of information about returning jihadists from Säpo to the local municipalities, so that the people who are in charge in the municipal authorities, including the police, have no information about who and how many returned ISIS fighters there are in their area. It is therefore impossible to monitor them -- and this at a time when Säpo estimates the number of violent Islamist extremists in Sweden in the thousands.</p> <p><strong>Even after all this, the Swedish state, in true Orwellian style, fights those Swedish citizens who point out the obvious problems that migrants are causing. </strong>When police officer Peter Springare said in February that migrants were committing a disproportionate amount of crime in the suburbs, he was <a href="" target="_blank">investigated</a> for inciting &quot;racial hatred&quot;.</p> <p><strong>Currently, a 70-year-old Swedish pensioner is being <a href="" target="_blank">prosecuted for &quot;hate speech&quot;</a>, for writing on Facebook that migrants &quot;set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the streets&quot;.</strong></p> <p><em>With thousands of jihadists all over Sweden, what could be more important than prosecuting a Swedish pensioner for writing on Facebook?</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="578" height="331" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Anders Thornberg Anders Ygeman Dan Eliasson Europe European migrant crisis Gatestone Institute Government Government of Sweden ISIS Middle East Middle East national police New Normal Politics Social Issues Stefan Löfven Sweden Swedish Defense University Swedish government Swedish National Police Swedish police Swedish Police Authority Swedish Security Service Swedish Security Service Uzbekistan Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600217 at NSA Leak: Sessions Reportedly Discussed Trump Campaign With Former Russian Ambassador <p>The <a href="">Washington Post </a>just made Attorney General Jeff Sessions&#39;s rotten week even worse.</p> <p>In what appears to be yet another leaked NSA intercept, <a href="">WaPo reports</a> citing &#39;current and former American officials&#39;, that <strong>Sergey Kislyak, the now infamous former Russian ambassador to the US, told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters - including policy issues important to Moscow - with Sessions during the 2016 presidential race</strong>. If accurate, the report would amount to yet another straw on the camel&#39;s back of Sessions&#39; relationship with the former ambassador - who has been at the center of many of the US media&#39;s stories alleging collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 280px;" /></a></p> <p>When he announced his intentions to recuse himself from the DOJ&rsquo;s probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign back in March, <strong>Sessions adamantly denied allegations that he had discussed the campaign with Russian officials, including former ambassador Kislyak.</strong> Sessions opted to recuse himself after he failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing with the Senate back in February.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,&rdquo; </strong>Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.</p> <p>However, Kislyak&rsquo;s accounts of two conversations with Sessions, then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump, were <strong>intercepted by US spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials</strong> both in the United States and in Russia.</p> <p><a href=""><em>As WaPo details,</em></a> one former official said that the intelligence indicates that<strong> Sessions and Kislyak had &ldquo;substantive&rdquo; discussions on matters including Trump&rsquo;s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="480"></iframe></p> <p>Officials emphasized that the information contradicting Sessions comes from U.S. intelligence on Kislyak&rsquo;s communications with the Kremlin, and acknowledged that the <strong>Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions</strong>.</p> <p>However,<a href=""> <strong>WaPo waited </strong></a><strong>until the end of the story to disclose one key detail</strong> about Kislyak&rsquo;s reports to his superiors concerning his meetings with Sessions. According to Kislyak, Sessions didn&rsquo;t discuss anything that could&rsquo;ve influenced the election&nbsp; - i.e. nothing here fits in with the Don Jr. collusion narrative. And, more importantly, there&rsquo;s no way to corroborate Kislyak&rsquo;s characterization of the meeting. <strong>Apparently, Kislyak isn&rsquo;t a meticulous notetaker, unlike former FBI Director James Comey.</strong></p> <p>As the ambassador to the US, Kislyak is expected to meet with US lawmakers.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>&ldquo;Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,&rdquo;</strong> said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>She reiterated that Sessions did not discuss interference in the election.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>However, after the tempestuous week that Sessions has had, this casts more doubt on the Attorney General&#39;s &quot;answers&quot; in the past.</p> <p>As a reminder, <strong>Trump, in an interview this week, expressed frustration with Sessions&rsquo; recusing himself from the Russia probe and indicated that he regretted his decision to make the lawmaker from Alabama the nation&rsquo;s top law enforcement officer</strong>. Trump also faulted Sessions as giving &ldquo;bad answers&rdquo; during his confirmation hearing about his Russian contacts during the campaign.</p> <p>When asked earlier this week about a falling out between himself and Trump, <strong>Sessions denied that he has any problems with the president, adding that he has no intentions of stepping aside. </strong></p> <p>*&nbsp; *&nbsp; *</p> <p>Finally we note that, although the WaPo report is unconfirmed - as the Flores quote above clearly indicates - <strong>it could give Trump just the cover he needs to fire Sessions</strong>.</p> <p>In that case he can appoint another attorney general who won&#39;t have conflicts and does not need to recuse from the Russia probe &ndash; thus giving Trump justification to fire Mueller and have the new DOJ head continue the probe, likely quashing the Russia narrative once and for all.</p> <p><em>Not that this would even matter. As recent polls show, the American people stopped caring about Russia months ago.</em><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="486" height="272" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey Politics Russia–United States relations Senate SPY U.S. intelligence United States Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:30:14 +0000 Tyler Durden 600261 at Broke And Bleeding Cash, DNC Ends June $3.3 Million In Debt <p>After spending a truly obscene amount of money on the Georgia special election last month, money that was proven to be completely wasted after Jon Ossoff was destroyed by Karen Handel, the DNC's balance sheet is looking a little deflated.&nbsp; <strong>Of course, spending $22 million dollars </strong>for a seat where candidates usually spend about $1 million each tends to take a toll on your political war chest.</p> <p><img src="" alt="GA" width="600" height="201" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unfortunately,<strong> even $176 per vote, or roughly 7.6x more than what Karen Handel spent, wasn't enough to buy a Georgia House seat.</strong>&nbsp; Oops.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="GA" width="600" height="117" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And while we're sure that the new DNC Chair would love to forget all about that Georgia race, as the Federal Election Commission's June financial reports reveal, his <strong>deflated balance sheet, which included only $7.5mm of cash and $3.3mm of debt, serves as a constant reminder of the wasted money that he'd undoubtedly love to get back.</strong></p> <p><a href=" - DNC 1.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 247px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As <a href="">The Observer</a> reported last month, this is<strong> hardly a new phenomenon for the DNC as May 2017 was the worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>DNC Chair Tom Perez recently sent out a fundraising email to supporters claiming, “I know garbage when I see it,” citing that he once worked on a dump truck. It’s ironic that he referred to the GOP health care bill as a “flaming dumpster fire” because he has been presiding over the disaster that is the Democratic National Committee. The organization reported that <strong>May 2017 was its worst fundraising month since the Iraq War in 2003, and April 2017 was its worst fundraising month since 2009. </strong>In May, the DNC also reported that it has $1.9 million in debt. <strong>Despite the fact that former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was recruited by Barack Obama to appease the party’s donors, lobbyists and PACs, even they have refused to prop up the failing brand.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Not approving of the strategies laid out at a retreat for donors in January 2017, billionaires Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman started their own political organization, Win the Future. As donors are increasingly tired of seeing their investments go to waste, many have started their own funds or used their access to take over leadership positions themselves—such as Florida billionaire donor Stephen Bittel did to become the Florida Democratic Party chair earlier this year. Democratic billionaire J.B. Pritzker is running for governor of Illinois, and billionaire Tom Steyer is debating running for governor of California. Haim Saban and James Simons poured millions into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but they have yet to be listed by the FEC as DNC donors in 2017. Additionally, George Soros has only given $33,900 to the DNC in 2017, but he poured millions of dollars into the Democratic Party in 2016.</p> </blockquote> <p>By contrast, as <a href="">The Hill</a> notes, June was a record breaking fundraising month for the RNC bringing their YTD haul to over $75 million, or roughly double what the DNC has managed to raise so far in 2017.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised a record $13.4 million in June, bringing its total 2017 fundraising to $75.3 million.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a release provided first to The Hill, the RNC announced another strong monthly haul and has $44.7 million in the bank. <strong>It’s the most the RNC has raised in June of a nonpresidential year.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel credited the record fundraising to the committee’s “loyal network of grassroots donors” due to their support for President Trump and the GOP’s agenda.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Because of the generous contributions, the RNC will continue to promote conservative values while bolstering our efforts to support, defend, and elect more Republicans,” McDaniel said in a statement.</p> </blockquote> <p>So what makes up the DNC's $3.3 million debt balance?&nbsp; Well, it consists of a $1 million bank loan and roughly $2 million of overdue bills primarily due to telemarketers.&nbsp; </p> <p>Ironically, of all the vendors that the DNC apparently can't afford to pay on a timely basis, <strong>one of the few that actually has a zero balance is their paper shredding company...</strong></p> <p><a href=" - DNC 2.jpg"><img src="" style="width: 600px; height: 565px;" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="641" height="353" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> B+ Barack Obama Democratic National Committee Democratic National Committee Federal Election Commission Florida George Soros Illinois Iraq Labor Politics Republican National Committee Republican National Committee Republican Party Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:25:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600230 at Professor Rages "My University Treated Me Like A Criminal Over A Joke" <p><a href=""><em>Authored by Professor Trent Bertrand via The James G Martin Center for Academic Renewal,</em></a></p> <div class="entry-content"> <p><strong>For the past six years, I have taught an undergraduate course on international economics at Johns Hopkins University. </strong>Most of my students thought it was a very good course. <strong>So I was shocked when, on December 6, 2016, I was met at the door of my classroom by Johns Hopkins security personnel and barred from entering.</strong></p> <p><strong>The next day, I received a letter from my dean suspending me from my teaching duties</strong> - just three classes before the end of the semester.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>What had I done to cause such a reaction by the administration?</strong></span> I had told a <strong>joke </strong>when discussing off-shoring, the practice of firms shifting work abroad, often in search of lower wages. Here it is:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>An American loses his job due to his work being off-shored.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He is very depressed and calls a mental health hot line. He gets a call center in Pakistan where the call center employee asks, &ldquo;What seems to be the problem?&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The American responds that he has lost his job due to the work being sent overseas and states, &ldquo;I am really depressed and actually suicidal.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The call center employee says, &ldquo;Great. Can you drive a truck?&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>The lecture on off-shoring took place several weeks earlier.<strong> The stated reason for my suspension was that three students (out of 68) complained that my joke had created a &ldquo;hostile learning environment&rdquo; in the class. </strong>That&rsquo;s a charge most college administrators now take with the utmost seriousness.</p> <p>At the time of my suspension, the investigation into those complaints by Johns Hopkins&rsquo; Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) had not even started, but still <strong>the administration somehow concluded that my teaching had to be terminated immediately.</strong></p> <p>I believe that the real reason I was barred from class and suspended was that in response to being informed two weeks earlier that a complaint had been made,<strong> I had noted the Orwellian characteristic of the OIE,</strong> quoting from their website but adding the italicized phrase in brackets:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Johns Hopkins is dedicated to the world of ideas and that world expands exponentially as those with different experiences and points of view share their knowledge and interpretations with one another<em><strong> [&hellip;unless of course those views diverge from the dominant groupthink protected under the banner of &lsquo;political correctness&rsquo; or threaten the safe spaces and comfort of anyone else].</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our commitment to diversity and inclusion reflects both a recognition of the past and the promise of the future, something owed to everyone in the Hopkins community.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>I had also noted that the OIE appeared to be an enforcement mechanism for the &ldquo;Political Correctness&rdquo; and &ldquo;Safe Spaces&rdquo; culture supporting the <em>Roadmap to Diversity and Inclusion</em> promulgated by President Ron Daniels and Johns Hopkins trustees.</strong> This &ldquo;roadmap&rdquo; was a response to demands from the Black Student Union that included greatly increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, subsequently defined as African Americans, Native Americans, South Pacific Islanders, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgender people, and &ldquo;self-identifying men, women, and non-binary&rdquo; persons.</p> <p>Hopkins has an Academic Council with the mandate to &ldquo;consider cases of alleged academic misconduct, faculty discipline, and appeals from negative promotion decisions, and will take action as necessary.&rdquo; An appeal for access to the Academic Council by me, and for me by the Association of American University Professors, was met with the reply that no action could be taken before the OIE investigation was complete.</p> <p><strong>Although the OIE investigation was finished in early April and I was told a report would be ready in two weeks, the OIE has failed to complete the report, thereby delaying any access to a faculty review.</strong></p> <p>The term of my contract ended June 30 of this year and the long delay in providing such a report may simply indicate a desire to prevent access to the Academic Council, perhaps with its concurrence. In any case, the Homewood Academic Council (HAC) informed me on July 3 that &ldquo;removal from a class for incidents of this kind would not ordinarily reach the level of extraordinary grievance that might be productively reviewed by HAC.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>I conclude that Johns Hopkins would rather have a sacrificial lamb to appease student protesters than to provide a faculty member with any semblance of due process.</strong></u></p> <p>Over <strong>two dozen students wrote emails protesting the actions taken against me</strong> and attesting to the value of my teaching. Here are just two of the posted comments.</p> <p>Craig Vande Stouwe wrote:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>As a nineteen-year-old who grew up in New York, I&rsquo;ve spent my whole life hearing the virtues of some of the &ldquo;politically correct&rdquo; ideologies you&rsquo;ve challenged in class extolled. Throughout class, I found myself disagreeing with you and with the class readings in principle on a variety of issues. However, that disagreement was my favorite part of class. <strong>Being challenged critically on an idea that I assumed to be indisputable fact has been one of the best intellectual aspects of my time here at Hopkins.</strong> Especially when these challenges are on the basis of a sound economic analysis&hellip;. If I could give you any advice as a student, I&rsquo;d say continue to challenge students&rsquo; beliefs, continue to invite us to discuss with you, and continue to cultivate the intellectual environment you have had in your classes.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>John Crawley wrote:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>After four years here at Johns Hopkins I have firmly come to believe that the education system here is flawed&hellip;.</strong> I am very rarely challenged by a teacher to WANT to learn more, and WANT to research more into something&hellip; until this semester.&nbsp; For the first time in my four years here, I was truly excited to go to class and learn. For the first time in my four years here, I have spent more than 4 or 5 weeks now working on an assignment (my term paper). And honestly, the first time in my four years year I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring my prompt for an assignment&hellip;. How can we be brought up in a &ldquo;marketplace of ideas&rdquo; when there is only one &ldquo;right&rdquo; (or left) belief? How can we gain a competitive advantage when we&rsquo;re afraid of being wrong? Thank you again for inspiring me.</p> </blockquote> <p>In their article <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank"><em>The Coddling of the American Mind</em>,</a> Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt worry that <strong>the imposition of &ldquo;vindictive protectiveness&rdquo; (a good description of my case) encourages students to think pathologically.</strong> Based on my experience, I can also affirm that it also encourages administrators, OIE investigators, and some faculty to also think pathologically. The failure to provide students alternative perspectives while encouraging them to think about and debate controversial issues and to make up their own minds is where many universities are now failing American students.</p> <p>The encouragement to students to become hyper-sensitive to possible violations of political correctness and its restrictions on speech differs from what was expected of 18- and 19-year-olds some 70 years ago, as was pointed out to me by a high school friend of mine when he heard about my alleged offenses. Dr. Colin McKinnon wrote:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong>In 1944, 18-year-olds were losing their lives on the beaches of Normandy to protect democracy, including free speech. In 2016 our 18-year-olds need trigger warnings for potentially hot topics of discussion, safe places if their feelings are hurt by an idea, or, even more ridiculous, time off from university because Hillary lost the election. Free speech and the idea of a university is at a crossroads.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>From our &ldquo;greatest&rdquo; generation to whining victims of &ldquo;micro aggressions&rdquo; in less than three quarters of a century?</strong></u> Not entirely, as a reading of the comments from my students attest. But the threat is real.</p> <p><strong>We are in a battle for the survival of the university </strong>as understood by President Hanna Holborn Gray who helped inspire the University of Chicago&rsquo;s recent Statement on Freedom of Expression with the following words:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>[Education] should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.</strong> Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.</p> </blockquote> <p>Our <strong>universities have gone badly astray </strong>when professors can be yanked out of their classes and denied rudimentary academic due process simply because a student couldn&rsquo;t take a joke or administrators cannot tolerate criticism of actions that threaten to undermine the idea of a university.</p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="900" height="653" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Academic Council Association of American University Professors Baltimore Black Student Union Education Homewood Academic Council James G Martin Center for Academic Renewal Johns Hopkins Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins’ office of Institutional Equity South Pacific the University of Chicago Sat, 22 Jul 2017 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600255 at Trumptopian Markets - Where Hope Triumphs Over History <p>Since the election of Donald Trump as President, &#39;hope&#39; has triumphed over reality...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>As this Trumptopia has evolved (and as yet achieved very little in reality), <strong>hard data - real actual economic output - has collapsed to two year lows, </strong>as surveys of economic activity reached record levels of delusion... and over the last couple of months fell back somewhat to reality.</p> <p><strong>Despite that realization that all is not as utopian as surveys once suggested, US equities have soared to record highs as holdings in SPDR Gold&nbsp;Shares, the world&rsquo;s biggest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, plunged this week to the lowest since February.&nbsp; </strong>After reaching a 2017&nbsp;high&nbsp;last month, Bloomberg reports that assets in the ETF have dropped as&nbsp;signs&nbsp;of stronger economic growth boost equities and spur more&nbsp;central banks&nbsp;to consider raising interest rates.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>So, investors are giving up on gold and going all-in on US equities on the basis that &#39;optimistic&#39; surveys of self-referential management in America will come true?</p> <p><u><strong>There&#39;s just two things...</strong></u></p> <p>First: this <strong>exuberant surge in &#39;stretched&#39; asset values across the globe is driven by one simple factor and it&#39;s not Trump</strong>...</p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 600px; height: 327px;" /></a></p> <p>And Second: &#39;Murica faces a debacle as the <strong>debt ceiling looms</strong> <em>(and is starting to make investors anxious in more professional markets)</em>...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="308" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img height="384" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>So, the question is - <strong>will &#39;hope&#39; continue to triumph over &#39;history&#39;</strong> as record levels of money-printing worldwide is seen only as a good thing with no downside... none at all?</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1180" height="618" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bullion Business Central Banks Debt Ceiling Donald Trump Donald Trump Exchange-traded funds Finance Gold as an investment Gold investments Investment Money None Precious metals Reality SPDR SPDR Gold Shares Sat, 22 Jul 2017 00:35:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600220 at TEPCO Sacrifices Another "Swimming Robot" At Fukushima: Still "No Sign Of Melted Nuclear Core" <p>While Elon Musk is fearful of the future of AI and robots destroying man, it appears the Japanese are taking the battle to the robots as they <strong>send a third &#39;swimming&#39; robot into the destroyed Fukushima reactors in search of the melted nuclear core material</strong>.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="235" src="" width="560" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As;s Aman Jain writes</em></a>, a swimming robot showed just how bad the damage at Japan&rsquo;s Fukushima nuclear plant is.</p> <p><strong>The robot dubbed &ldquo;the Little Sunfish&rdquo; went inside the factory and captured images of the containment vessel in the Unit 3 reactor, which was swept away by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.</strong></p> <h3><u>No signs of melted nuclear fuel yet</u></h3> <p>Toshiba Corp., the company which has been given the responsibility of cleaning the <a href="">plant,</a> has co-developed the swimming robot with the International Research Institute for nuclear decommissioning.</p> <p><strong>The robot is on a mission to locate the fuel that melted and seeped from the core, falling to the bottom of the primary containment chamber where it was surrounded by highly radioactive water as deep as 6 meters,</strong> notes the Review Journal.</p> <p>The little Sunfish is a small robot which <strong>propels around the area and captures data using two cameras and a dosimeter. </strong>Further, the robot is controlled by a group of four operators from a remote distance. The robot, which is <strong>about the size of a loaf of bread,</strong> is connected to data cables all the time. Further, the observations made by the robot are sent back to the team via the data cable.</p> <p>On Wednesday, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) spokesman Takahiro Kimoto stated that they had received the first <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pictures</a>&nbsp;of the underwater damage from the swimming robot, <strong>but there is no sign of the melted nuclear fuel that researchers are looking for.</strong></p> <p>In a late night news conference, Kimoto said, <em><strong>&ldquo;The damage to the structures was caused by the melted fuel or its heat.&rdquo;</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Inside the plant, the robot was placed near the structure known as the pedestal, from where it went further in search of more information and the possibility of stumbling upon the melted fuel.</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <h3><u>Third attempt using the swimming robot</u></h3> <p>The Tohoku&nbsp;earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which killed more than 18,000 people, also damaged the power plant in Fukushima, making it the largest nuclear accident since Chernobyl. There have been a couple of attempts to explore the first and the second reactor, but the robots could not pass through. They either got stuck or swallowed by the excessive radiation still present inside the plant. However, the Little Sunfish gave a glimpse of the badly damaged number 3 reactor.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the budget allocated to the exploration and clean-up process more than doubled to a whopping $188 billion last year, but the agenda is still running behind schedule. TEPCO has also not been able to decide on what to do with the 777,000 tons of water contaminated with tritium when it was used to cool down the plant&rsquo;s cores.</p> <p>Earlier, TEPCO Chairman Takashi Kawamura stated that there is only one solution left, which calls for dumping the water tanks into the Pacific Ocean. <strong>According to the officials, tritium is not harmful in small doses, but local activists and fisherman said that this will a create another negative impression about the country&rsquo;s environmental commitments, which are already not in a good place as it deals with the horrible&nbsp;<a href="">nuclear</a> disaster.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="725" height="304" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> artificial intelligence Containment building Disaster Energy Environment Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster Fukushima disaster cleanup International Research Institute Japan Nuclear and radiation accidents and incidents Nuclear decommissioning Nuclear physics Nuclear technology radiation Tokyo Electric Power Company Sat, 22 Jul 2017 00:10:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600253 at 6 Months In: Which President Covered The Most Ground <p>As Donald Trump hits the six month mark of his stint in the White House, <strong>there have already been a number of evaluative comparisons made to past presidents.</strong></p> <p>From approval ratings to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">golf trips</a>&nbsp;to number of executive orders signed, each provide a snapshot of the incumbent&#39;s opening period. As <a href="">Statista&#39;s Martin Armstrong notes</a>, the infographic below looks from a different angle, <strong>showing which states Trump, Obama and Bush visited in their first half year</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" title="Infographic: 6 Months in: Which President Covered The Most Ground | Statista"><img alt="Infographic: 6 Months in: Which President Covered The Most Ground | Statista" height="590" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em>You will find more statistics at <a href="">Statista</a></em></p> <p>According to the CNN&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">analysis</a>, <strong>Trump (16) and Obama (14) pale in comparison to George W. Bush who made his way to 32 states as he embarked on his presidency. </strong></p> <p>While back in 2001, Bush covered huge swathes of the country, <strong>his successors were much less focused on such encompassing travel. </strong></p> <p>Notable for the states visited by President Trump is the complete lack of trips to the west. <strong><em>The furthest away from the Atlantic the current President got was his June outing in Iowa - perhaps an early indication of where his domestic priorities lie.</em></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="600" height="90" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> American people of German descent Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Martin Armstrong Politics Politics of the United States ratings The Apprentice United States White House White House WWE Hall of Fame Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:45:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 600248 at US Lawmakers Support Bill That Would Make it Illegal to Boycott Goods and Services from Israel <p><em>Content originally published at <a href=""></a></em></p> <p> The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, sponsored by Sen. Cardin, supported by 45 Senators and 237 congressmen, will criminalize the boycott of goods and services from the state of Israel.</p> <p>Source: <a href=""></a></p> <p>If American citizens happen to defy this law, if approved, they will be fined a minimum of $250,000, and a maximum of $1 million plus 20 years in prison, designated for persons "engaged in interstate or foreign commerce."</p> <p>The bill is said to be purposed to countermand a potential UN resolution that will prevent trade with East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. The idea behind the bill would be to prevent any American from joining the fray.</p> <p>The ACLU takes exception to the bill, saying it's a direct violation of the First Amendment. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“In short, the bill would punish businesses and individuals solely based on their point of view,” it wrote. “Such a penalty is in direct violation of the First Amendment.”</p></blockquote> <p> &nbsp;<br /> The bill, rumored to have been written by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has garnered widespread bipartisan support. Finally, Congress has found something they could agree on.</p> <p>Here you can see an AIPAC infographic highlighting this bill as part of their top lobbying priorities for 2017.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="540" height="459" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70726" /></a><br /> <a href=""><img src="" width="540" height="314" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70727" /></a></p> <p>Thus far, 45 US Senators and 237 congressmen (63 dems, 174 republitards) support the measure.</p> <p>The ACLU is actively lobbying opposition to this bill. Thus far, zero lawmakers have sided with them.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="540" height="315" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70728" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="540" height="433" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70729" /></a></p> <p>Amusingly, the sponsor of this bill, Senator Cardin, doesn't seem to know anything about the bill, when approached by a reporter at The Intercept.<br /> <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><a href="">The Intercept weighs in</a> on the potential penalties that will be imposed on American citizens if passed.<br /> &nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>That’s because, as Josh Ruebner expertly detailed when the bill was first unveiled, “the bill seeks to amend two laws — the Export Administration Act of 1979 and the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945,” and “the potential penalties for violating this bill are steep: a minimum $250,000 civil penalty and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years imprisonment, as stipulated in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.”<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Indeed, to see how serious the penalties are, and how clear it is that those penalties are imposed by this bill, one can just compare the bill’s text in Section 8(a), which provides that violators will be “fined in accordance with Section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705),” to the penalty provisions of that law, which state:</p></blockquote> <p> &nbsp;<br /> <a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="177" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-70730" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>That the bill refers to the fine, but not the prison sentence, is not enough to prevent a judge from applying the statute’s prison term, because the bill brings the statute into play, said Faiz Shakir, the ACLU’s political director, who authored the letter to the Senate. “The referral to the statute keeps criminal penalties in play, regardless of what their preference for punishment might be,” said Shakir.<br /> &nbsp;<br /> The bill also extends the current prohibition on participating in boycotts sponsored by foreign governments to cover boycotts from international organizations such as the U.N. and the European Union. It also explicitly extends the boycott ban from Israel generally to any parts of Israel, including the settlements. For that reason, Ruebner explains, the bill — by design — would outlaw “campaigns by the Palestine solidarity movement to pressure corporations to cut ties to Israel or even with Israeli settlements.”</p></blockquote> <p> &nbsp;<br /> Back in March, <a href="">the State of Israel banned any persons</a> from entering the country who supported the boycott of goods and services from Israel. However, unlike the American version of the bill, the&nbsp;bill does not apply to citizen of Israel or those with permanent residency.<br /> &nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Late Monday the Israeli parliament passed the bill 46 to 28 opposed. The ban will target individuals who publicly call for a boycott of Israel or Israeli goods, including goods made in West Bank or East Jerusalem settlements, which the majority of the international community considers to be illegal under international law. <strong>The law will allow exceptions and will not apply to Israeli citizens or those with permanent residency.</strong><br /> &nbsp;<br /> “In recent years calls to boycott Israel have been growing,” a statement on the Israeli parliament website said after the bill’s approval. “It seems this is a new front in the war against Israel, which until now the country had not prepared for properly.”</p></blockquote> <p> &nbsp;<br /> It's worth mentioning, Sen. Cardin is one of dozens of US lawmakers who hold dual Israeli-American citizenships. Perhaps since we're all so concerned about foreign meddling into our affairs, we should shed a light on all foreign meddling, not just Russian.</p> <p>Here are the Senators who support the bill.</p> <p>Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH]* 03/23/2017<br /> Sen. Nelson, Bill [D-FL] 03/27/2017<br /> Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL] 03/27/2017<br /> Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] 03/27/2017<br /> Sen. Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] 03/27/2017<br /> Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 03/27/2017<br /> Sen. Graham, Lindsey [R-SC] 03/28/2017<br /> Sen. Young, Todd C. [R-IN] 03/28/2017<br /> Sen. Boozman, John [R-AR] 03/28/2017<br /> Sen. Isakson, Johnny [R-GA] 03/28/2017<br /> Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] 03/28/2017<br /> Sen. Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT] 03/30/2017<br /> Sen. Perdue, David [R-GA] 03/30/2017<br /> Sen. Roberts, Pat [R-KS] 03/30/2017<br /> Sen. Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS] 03/30/2017<br /> Sen. Hoeven, John [R-ND] 04/04/2017<br /> Sen. Cornyn, John [R-TX] 04/04/2017<br /> Sen. Fischer, Deb [R-NE] 04/04/2017<br /> Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV] 04/24/2017<br /> Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS] 04/24/2017<br /> Sen. Crapo, Mike [R-ID] 04/24/2017<br /> Sen. Cantwell, Maria [D-WA] 04/24/2017<br /> Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA] 04/25/2017<br /> Sen. Capito, Shelley Moore [R-WV] 04/26/2017<br /> Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY] 05/01/2017<br /> Sen. Ernst, Joni [R-IA] 05/01/2017<br /> Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH] 05/08/2017<br /> Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 05/09/2017<br /> Sen. Lankford, James [R-OK] 05/16/2017<br /> Sen. Burr, Richard [R-NC] 05/17/2017<br /> Sen. Donnelly, Joe [D-IN] 05/23/2017<br /> Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC] 05/25/2017<br /> Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX] 06/05/2017<br /> Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV] 06/05/2017<br /> Sen. Strange, Luther [R-AL] 06/05/2017<br /> Sen. McCaskill, Claire [D-MO] 06/06/2017<br /> Sen. Thune, John [R-SD] 06/12/2017<br /> Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR] 06/12/2017<br /> Sen. Sasse, Ben [R-NE] 06/15/2017<br /> Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE] 06/26/2017<br /> Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO] 07/12/2017<br /> Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK] 07/12/2017<br /> Sen. Cassidy, Bill [R-LA] 07/18/2017<br /> Sen. Tillis, Thom [R-NC] 07/19/2017<br /> Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR] 07/19/2017</p> American Israel Public Affairs Committee American Israel Public Affairs Committee Anti-boycott Asia Boycott Boycotts of Israel Collective punishment Congress European Union European Union First Amendment Geography of Asia Golan Heights Human rights in Israel Israel Israel Israeli parliament Israeli settlement Politics Senate United Nations Zionism Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:22:33 +0000 The_Real_Fly 600259 at